Issue 7

Creative Nonfiction

Ellen Van Woert

Recipes For Ladies Who Want To Reduce


Maybe you could use the icing off that cupcake as a face cream. 
Rub it in under your eyes. 
You’d smell like sugar. 
Speaking of sugar, maybe you could try eating that grapefruit with­out sugar. 
It takes a real woman to eat a grapefruit without sugar. 
You can do it. 
Maybe a bug will crawl on your kitchen floor. 
Your cat will take it in its paw, and put it in its mouth. 
Your cat will spit it out. 
Your cat will take it in its paw, and put it in its mouth. 
Again. 
You’ll hear your cat chewing. 
You’ll hear your cat crunching. 
Your cat swallows the bug. 
You won’t be hungry anymore. 
Maybe think about all the times you had the flu. 
And the television only played food commercials. 
You won’t be hungry anymore. 
Maybe you can stay in bed all day. 
You can talk to your favorite person on the phone.

Your favorite person will offer to take you out for sushi. 
You’ve never had sushi. 
But you say, “I like sushi, just not as much as I like other things.” 
And you stay in bed some more. 
Maybe you can pretend the kitchen is flooded with lava. 
Maybe you can pretend that it’s opposite day. 
Maybe no one is hungry on opposite day. 
Maybe carry popsicles in your purse. 
They would melt. 
That’s the point. 
Or maybe you can just invite somebody over to kiss you. 
That’s exercise, you know. 
Maybe you can switch places with food. 
You can be spaghetti. 
You can take a bath in tomatoes. 
Maybe you can buy extra large clothing that sags in all the right places. 
Maybe you could stare at you in a bikini until you loved you. 
Maybe you could cut out every hamburger, 
French fry, 
chicken sandwich, 
milkshake, 
Coca-Cola, 
etc. 
that you see in every magazine and newspaper. 
And tape them on your walls. 
Just tape them right over your pictures of your new nephew or your sister’s face. 
This could make you really hungry. 
This could also make you really un-hungry. 
It’s worth a shot. 
Maybe you could hold your pee. 
It’s really hard to enjoy a meal if you have to pee. 
Maybe you could tell yourself that you will eat after you win a game of solitaire.

You’d play thirty and more games and you would lose them all. 
A week later, and you would still be playing solitaire. 
Maybe you can think of every time someone grossed you out. 
Think about when your grandma tried to hand you her dentures. 
In elementary school kids would eat ketchup with a fork. 
Or they would eat ketchup right from the packet. 
Or they would put strawberry yogurt on their pizza. 
Or they would eat eight bananas. 
And you know. 
Throw up. 
Speaking of throw up, don’t do that. 
You could be nervous all the time. 
You can never eat when you’re nervous. 
But don’t do that. 
You’re probably not going to be on the cover of a tabloid in your swimsuit. 
The caption won’t read, “WHOSE FAT ASS IS THIS?!” 
Maybe just don’t eat sausage and bacon at the same time. 
It’s not good for your heart. 
Maybe eat really spicy things and sweat a little. 
Don’t worry. 
If you can’t feel your ribs, 
don’t worry. 
The more aware you are of the inside of your body, 
the more you become a hypochondriac. 
Maybe you can just tape your favorite numbers to your scale and stop worrying about numbers. 
Or maybe you should slide your scale as far under your claw-foot bathtub as it will go. 
So it would be too much of a hassle to reach. 
And then maybe you can stop looking at yourself in the mirror like that. 
Life is too short. 
Pizza is good. 
You look nice today.